Yesterday we returned to Steamboat for our 7th annual Hasselbach family vacation. We loaded the truck with all the supplies necessary for 2 weeks of family fun: fishing poles, bicycles, pool toys, sand buckets, and so much more! As we began our fun with a family hike, it became keenly aware that I had brought along some baggage unintentionally.
You see twelve months ago when we were in Steamboat my body was wrecked by Crohn’s Disease. I felt pain constantly that inhibited my ability to do many things. I was unable to eat normally and ate a largely liquid diet. I lost a lot of weight and muscle tone which made the simple tasks of climbing stairs or walking around the block difficult.
Our time in Steamboat was spent trying to recover and praying for healing for my tormented body. I often walked a path called the Spring Creek trail with the intent of rehabilitating my body. Craig would hold one of my hands and wrap his other arm around my midsection to support me. I was frail, and unable to stand straight due to the extreme intestinal pain and inflammation I felt. I struggled with great determination to complete this mile walk, knowing I had to keep pushing. It is in God’s healing hands and my resolve to fight that I knew I would be made whole again. Giving up was not an option!
Fast forward to today, I again walked the Spring Creek trail on this summer day with Craig. Yet, I did not need him to support me. In fact, it felt too easy! My legs had a good 7 or 8 more miles in them. I felt no pain. I could look around at the beauty that surrounded me instead of being stuck in the mire of pain and self-absorption. However, as I walked slowly tears began to flow from my eyes and roll down my cheek. My sunglasses provided an opportunity to disguise my feelings for a moment until the flood gates opened. All the emotion I have been hiding in the lock box of my soul for the last twelve months were unlocked. The feelings I have suppressed were bubbling to the surface. Healing has taken place in my body, but some emotional scars remained.
As I reflect on the revelation of today, I am thankful. I am most thankful for the healing I have experienced. It is all God! I could have done all the same treatments and remained ill. I will forever be greatful that God allowed me to be restored. I am blessed to be able to spend these beautiful moments with the family I love so much. I am honored to have the opportunity to redeem my experiences of last summer on this trail today and throughout this family vacation. It is my belief that the last restorative healing that takes place in us humans, is often the emotional one. I began that journey today on this little mountain path. I will continue it throughout this week as I am reminded of where I was a year ago, the scars that remain, and the new beauty that lies ahead. Always thankful for the Holy Spirit’s continual work in my life. Redemption and refinement are beautiful!
And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ. Philipians 1:6
For I will restore health to you, and I will heal you of your wounds, said the LORD. Jeremiah 30:17a